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Wilson’s Airless Basketball – The Future Of The Game

Wilson created an airless, 3D-printed basketball that will change the course of basketball forever

Have you ever been stuck with a deflated basketball and no pump?  Imagine a world where you can start bouncing a basketball straight out of the box. This fantasy might well be a part of the near future. Wilson’s new basketball is completely 3D printed, so there’s no need for a pump at all.

This product made by Wilson is a one of a kind invention. Instead of using regular pressurized air to produce the bounce, that has to constantly be pumped up again, the Airless Basketball relies on the flexibility of the ball to make it bounce just like a regular basketball. Since the basketball was 3D printed, it has holes all throughout the ball which is what makes it “airless.” While this might seem cool and creative, this proves to actually be a flaw to the ball. Think about a wiffleball, and how its aerodynamics force it to drop quickly without traveling far. Since both have similar designs, a worry is that the shot mechanics of the ball will be completely different.

Wilson created this basketball by using lasers to fuse layers of polymer lattice into the spherical 3D design to mimic the weight and shape of a regular basketball. They remove the excess powder and coat it in a black, brown, or white paint. People have tried to recreate this process, but most people’s either don’t have any flexibility, or crack on the first bounce. Wilson has kept their true formula to the Airless Basketball a well kept secret.

On NBA all-star weekend, February 17th, they revealed this new ball. Wilson recently overtook Spalding for the NBA’s official basketball in the 2021-2022 season, and maybe some time in the future, the NBA will adopt the Airless Basketball. As of now, the Airless Basketball’s release set the price at $2,500, but now in May of 2024, you can buy one for upwards of $10,000 on resale.



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